Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


I am busy preparing for my next trip in the van, firstly up to the Cotswolds for the Cotswolds Vintage Fair on Saturday 16th (see side bar), and then down to West Sussex for 'The Summer Brocante' at Wisborough Green on Saturday 23rd August, both of which I am very much looking forward to. And I shall have a week in-between to explore a little bit more of the country! I especially love the area around Broadway, just a few miles from Toddington where the Cotswolds Vintage Fair takes place. Snowshill Manor is a must (surely the most fascinating house anywhere), and the gardens of Kiftsgate and Hidcote as well as all those beautiful cottages and the rolling Cotswold hills....

So I thought I would show you a taster of what will be on my stall: new 'Packs of Inspiration' above; some of which contain blank cards with envelopes so that you can enjoy making your own cards...... 
Little tins containing a mixture of mother-of-pearl buttons, vintage beads, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal......

and a charm necklace assembled from an old key and some vintage buttons and beads.

New butterfly cards.....

There will be quite a selection of lace for sale, both machine-made and hand-done, ranging from fine lace trims to larger net pieces.

Cards depicting old clothes patterns from the 40's, 50's and 60's, ornamented with a swatch of vintage fabric and a button.

Old French paper roses, presented with a hand-made label, make a simple and romantic gift.

I do hope to meet some of you at either one of the two fairs....for more info just click on the pictures on the sidebar and see below.

Lucy Haywood of 'Love Lane Vintage' presents 'The Summer Brocante'
75 hand-picked exhibitors selling a wonderful array of country antiques, textiles, homewares and hand-made treasures

11am - 5pm
Plenty of parking
Wisborough Green, West Sussex

Entrance £4

There will be a cricket match on the village green and summer lunches served alongside hedgerow inspired cocktails and real ales.....a taste of England at its best (could we just order some nice sunshine too please?)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Wash day

 My washing line was looking very Victorian today, with several pairs of bloomers, a camisole, frilly shirt and two pairs of handmade sleeves. Some of these I wear and some will be for sale. A good wind meant that they were dry in half an hour.

I have started to plant up some containers for the terrace outside my bedroom. It gets full sun for most of the day, so anything I put out there needs to be able to withstand hot, dry conditions, especially when I go away and I'm not there to water. 

So things like lavender, sage, thyme, sedums, Bladder campion, pinks, Tanacetum, succulents and any silvery leaved plants should do pretty well. I'm also avoiding anything that snails eat! I've used old galvanised buckets and other containers recently found at antique fairs. 

 Alongside the wall I've put this large galvanised tub and planted it with two old fashioned roses: 'William Shakespeare' and 'Mary Rose', both of which smell heavenly; plus a few other pink and white flowered plants. I so enjoy going out onto my terrace in the morning and seeing how things are growing, I don't think I could live without a garden of some sort. In another life I would like to be a garden designer.......

Back in the studio I've been messing around with bits again....

It's great to keep a jar for all those little offcuts that would otherwise get thrown away.

 I experimented making a garland....

 and then moved on to some hearts stuffed with thistledown and home-grown lavender......

I hope you are all enjoying your summer x x x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A Garden of Roses

I have been travelling around in my van for some weeks over the last two months, partly selling at Fairs and partly enjoying seeing this beautiful country of ours, and undoubtedly one of the highlights of my latest trip was visiting Great Chalfield Manor near Melksham in Wiltshire.

It is so quintessentially English and romantic; a medieval moated manor house with walled gardens, topiary and sumptuous planting.

Above all, the garden was just dripping with roses; in the borders, climbing the walls, smothering the trees.... it reminded me of the description of the moment when Mary Lennox first passes through the door into the Secret Garden (though of course Mary sees the garden in winter, in its dormant state, but knows what beauty is to come): 

'It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of climbing roses, which were so thick that they were matted together. All the ground was covered with grass of a wintry brown, and out of it grew clumps of bushes which were surely rose-bushes if they were alive. There were numbers of standard roses which had so spread their branches that they were like little trees. There were other trees in the garden, and one of the things which made the place look strangest and loveliest was that climbing roses had run all over them and swung down long tendrils which made light swaying curtains, and here and there they had caught at each other or at a far-reaching branch and had crept from one tree to another and made lovely bridges of themselves.'

                                           Frances Hodgson Burnett

 The Manor is currently being used in the filming of Hilary Mantel's novel 'Wolf Hall', as the home of Thomas Cromwell. I look forward to seeing that when it comes out!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Vintage and Handmade Spring Fair 2014

Yes folks, it's that time again when all us vintage luvvies descend on Chipping Sodbury Town Hall for a good dose of nostalgic shopping at The Vintage and Handmade Spring Fair! This coming Saturday 31st May, 10am - 4pm

My stand this year will have a distinctive shells theme, with collages, cards and these new packs of papers and stickers featuring lovely colourful shell illustrations. A lot of customers ask me when they see these packs, 'well, what exactly are they for?', and my answer is usually: "If you enjoy scrapbooking, collaging or making cards, then these are ideal. Different papers to cut out and stick in artistic arrangements when making cards and gift tags, and the stickers can be used when wrapping gifts or as an added embellishment on collages....just use your imagination!"

Friday, 2 May 2014

The last few days have been spent in the company of my good friend Mr. T, a traditional sign-writer, black and white photographer and dealer in transport memorabilia. Looking around his main workshop in Lymington is like stepping into a living museum.....  

There aren't many sign-writers left working in the traditional way with everything painted by hand, much of it judged purely by eye, using skills and a keen knowledge of lettering styles that only comes with years and years of practice. Last year Mr. T was invited to become a tutor in sign-writing at West Dean College.

 There are collections of old tins, books and other motoring accoutrements on every shelf.....

The painted board cut-out of a blue van is a painting by Mr.T of an actual old Ford van that he owns and uses as a mobile advertisement for his sign-writing business. 

Old toffee and sweet tins, cigarette tins, etc...

model cars and trucks....

vintage cameras.....

 boating souvenirs...

an old Triang toy truck...

oil cans...

 As well as doing traditional work such as pub and shop signs, house names, and advertisement boards, Mr.T also specialises in coach lining and body paint-work of vintage vehicles. He has painted steam traction engines, classic sports cars and even an old oil tanker. Below is one of his paintings copied from an old gasoline advertisement sign.

The building his workshop occupies was originally a coach house for stabling horses. When he acquired it the place was full of pigeons and had fallen into complete disrepair. An awful lot of hard graft has transformed it into a very cosy and atmospheric place to be. 

Tomorrow I head off to The Weald and Downland Museum to set up my stand ready for the Spring Food and Countryside Show, happening on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. If any of you lovely readers are in the area and fancy a day out then do pop into the craft marquee and say hello!